Sunday, January 08, 2017
Those who address these pages to the reader are working-class men and women—clerks and taxi-men, artists and accountants, shopmen and sweeps, carpenters, " bricklayers, masons, excavators, plumbers, painters, journalists, printers, scientific workers, weavers, porters, software programers, women and men of many other trades—but all working-class people; all folk who depend for their livelihood on the sale of their own labour-power, or the sale of the labour-power of those who are their breadwinners.
The men and women, then, who address you through these pages are in die same position as you are. They work side by side with you in the office, workshop or factory; they face death and disablement with you in the mine; they "fight shoulder to shoulder with "you in the strike; they know what it is to walk the streets day after day in vain search for employment. The experience of poverty and humiliation which has seared your minds has Burnt also into theirs.
We ask your earnest consideration of blogs that follow, because, being of the same class, suffering the same ills that you suffer we know that only with your deliverance can we be delivered.
The means of production and distribution which you, made and which you renew and enlarge belong to the capitalists. The wealth which you produce provides, for the whole human race. Yet only part of it goes to the working class, who produce it, while the rest goes to the master class, who do not. It is plain that the more the' masters take, the less there is for you, and the, more you secure the less there remains for the masters.
What does this mean? Can it mean anything else than opposing interests? Of course it cannot. It is the interest of each class to obtain more of the wealth produced, and since the more either class gets the less there is left for the other, their interests must clash.
The capitalists admit that the more they get of the wealth produced the less is left for the workers, but they deny that there are opposing interests. They claim that the interest of both classes is to combine to produce more wealth.
We shall show presently that to produce more wealth by no means necessarily increases either the absolute or the relative portion received by the producers; But even if it were true .that the interest of both classes is to combine to produce more wealth, it ;would remain as true as ever that it would be to the interest of each to obtain the largest possible share, of the "wealth produced, and hence the class interests would still clash.
As a matter of fact, the classes do combine, willingly or unwillingly, but very effectually, to produce ever greater wealth, yet although they succeed in this, the signs of opposing interests, strikes and lock-outs, remain as glaring as ever.
It is because it is so plainly the interest of the capitalist class to do all they can to prevent the workers obtaining ownership and control of the means of production and distribution: and more of the wealth they produce, and, therefore, above all, to keep them from learning why they are poor, and how to throw off their poverty, that the latter must look only to their own class for help.
They must examine closely every message that is opposed and reviled by the masters and by their instruments and hirelings— their press, parsons, and politicians.
It is for these reasons that all workers should read this blog.
Adapted from the pamphlet Socialism.
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